Tuesday, November 29, 2005


A quick glance at the clock, then a look back at the other one. I might even check out the digital clock on my computer, perhaps that one is faster! Nope, they’re all the same and I have another 3 hours of boredom ahead of me. Guess I could always pop onto Blonde and see if anyone has posted. After all, it has been 2 minutes now, maybe someone has replied to my post. Nope, still the same, no change. I’ll just tap refresh then, click constantly until something changes. Wait a second, the boss is coming, I’d better flick over to a spreadsheet and look busy. Right, he’s gone, back to Blonde. Nope, no change. What’s the time again?

Argh!!! Then I woke up in a cold sweat. These scenes are still in my nightmares.

It’s been 10 days now since I quit the job and I have no regrets, none whatsoever. In fact, I’m absolutely thrilled with the way it’s all started. I was severely worried that I’d be spending all my time in front of the monitor, playing out potentially tedious online sessions, but that hasn’t been the case. In fact, I haven’t played one single hand online. It’s as if I’m on a junior-esque cold turkey, except without the cold and without the turkey.

Although I was officially planning to commence my new career yesterday, I couldn’t resist purchasing a seat in one of the Midlands Masters events. After scouring the options, I concluded that the £300 No Limit Freezout would be the most sensible option for a fellow in my position. I pulled out my ‘Live Poker’ debit card and swiftly purchased my golden ticket.

Tuesday soon came around and I couldn’t wait to get in and amongst the cards. No matter how much you love playing online, I don’t think you can beat the live experience. Meeting new people, spotting old faces, banter at the table, identifying tells; these are just a few of the aspects that I love and is what motivates me to keep revisiting the live scene, whether I deem it profitable or not.

Due to the high number of players, 163 in all (150 max – hmm), I was on a diddy reserve table. Reminded me of Christmas time when me and my cousins would be shoved onto the smaller kiddies’ table. Hold on, that still happens! Bah! Anyway, I felt like a giant for a while. I just preyed that no ‘big boned’ fellows drew the seat next door, otherwise I’d be crushed for sure.

Luckily, the only large competitor was seated opposite and I was safe, with a slim lad on either side. What a luxury! I had elbow room! A quick glance around and the only recognisable face was Ash ‘The Cash’ Pervais seated to my left. I don’t fear anyone, but it’s always a relief when there’re no dangermen around, just makes things slightly more reassuring. Moments before kick-off TightEnd had texted me to inform me that he was sharing a table with J ‘Wonderkid’ P, Burnley John, and Julian ‘Yoyo’ Thew. I didn’t offer to swap.

I’d decided before the comp that I was going to play aggressively in the hope that when I did get a hand, I’d have more chance of getting paid off. This is a strategy I often have to apply as many correlate youth with rockiness, so having your aces find a customer is sometimes a longshot. However, after a few hands, it became clear that this wouldn’t be too much of a concern. A young Geordie known as ‘Georgeous’ George and his buddy next door were playing almost every hand. In fact, I’m sure they had a side bet on who could knock the other out.

Apart from the action provided by these two, very little occurred on our table. Even ‘The Cash’ was surprisingly quiet. I’d built my stack up gradually to around 10k, picking up a few chips here and there. Then, suddenly, I got aces. There was a bet, a reraise from George, and then it was around to me on the small blind. Not the worst of situations to be in. I considered trapping, but thought that there was a good chance that I could get George to pay me off. I’d made a few moves on him earlier, so deduced that perhaps he was getting a bit ticked off with me. I stuck in a big bet and crossed my fingers. The original raiser folded and, after a long dwell, so did George. A tad disappointing, but nothing to get upset about. I had climbed up to around 13k from 7.5k, so almost doubled my stack by the break. Considering how tight and cagey these comps start, I was pretty happy with that scenario.

After the break, my table split and I was moved to a much livelier table. Almost every hand saw a preflop raise and few were interested in folding. One hand I was dealt pocket tens. An ultra-aggressive player raised, so I decided to reraise. He flatcalled. The flop came out Q-7-9. His checked seemed weak, so I bet. To my chagrin though, he move all-in. What could he have. I couldn’t imagine him flatcalling preflop with AA, KK, or QQ. Also, I think he’d bet the flop with J-J. On the flipside, would he really put all his chips at risk with a stonecold bluff, especially since I was new to the table and playing relatively tight. In the end I mucked my pocket pair and gave up almost half of my stack. I deduced that if he wasn’t trapchecking with AQ, then he was almost certainly being sneaky with 77 or 99. I may have been wrong, but, at the time, 7k was still a playable stack so I decided to let the hand go. Hmm – that one was on my mind for a while.

I’m not one to babble on about luck, but I definitely received a wink from the poker gods during this comp. Although I lost a chunk with AQ v KT, when I was low I made 3 outdraws, something that I rarely rely upon. First it was K4 v 99, then KQ v AK, and finally 72 (cough – don’t ask) v AK. All three beats raised an eyebrow or two, but there are different ways of assessing luck. Since the break, the best hand I’d seen was pocket tens. So does that make me unlucky too?

Anyhow, as I’d refused to let myself get too low, these double throughs had built me up nicely and I was given the freedom to play with slightly more panache. It was a bit of a yoyo experience at times, but by the end of day 1, I found my self on 35k and in with a shout. After the outdraws, I could make no complaints.

Day 2 arrived and I was eager to double up early, I just needed to scout for an opportunity. However, after a few all-ins found no callers, I was practically up to 50k anyhow. Junior had run into Kings, Andy Gomm had been sent packing, and before we knew it, there were about 12 players left.

Mickey ‘The Worm’ Wernick was dominating the table, but I was still managing to keep my head above water with 65k. Then came a hand which earned me a few jibes from the table and a couple of railers. With blinds at 3 and 6, I raised 15k with A8 off. Paul Hampton in the big blind had a think, then pushed in for another 30k. Paul is a very good player and capable of making a move with a hand like KQ, QJ, 66, etc, so I decided not to be too hasty in folding. Right, it was costing me 30k into a pot of 69k. That’s more than 2-1 on my money with a chance of knocking someone out. I could easily be a 50-50 shot and perhaps even ahead. Also, if I won the hand, I’d be up to around 100k and in a strong position come final table. I was here to win the comp outright, not sneak onto the final table, so I opted to call. Unfortunately, in all my blurred logic, I’d failed to acknowledge Paul’s acting abilities. I know Mr Hampton to be a very sneaky devil and not adverse to a bit of theatrics, so, in hindsight, I shouldn’t really have been surprised to have seen AK, a hand that most would play in a flash, not dwell over. No 8 came, I was left with 25k, and a few players told me how crap the call was. Ah well, I was still in.

To cut a long story short, I did manage to make the final table. I doubled up with 62 v AK and had a few all-ins unanswered. With 65k on the final table, I actually found a hand in the big blind when I met the cowboys. Mickey raised with AT from the button, the small blind move all-in with AQ and I pushed also. Mickey passed, the flop came down with and ace, and that was the end of me. After dealing out a few bad beats, I was on the end of a stinker myself, but I really wasn’t in a position to moan.

So £1500 for 8th and 480 ranking points. Not a bad start to the full-time poker career, but it still hurts when you exit the comp. I had my eyes firmly set on the 18k 1st prize, but it wasn’t to be. It had been a constructive learning experience and I was thrilled to see Julian bring home the bacon, even if he does deny knowledge of my 30% cut. Well, I guess it was worth a try.

To summarise, I’d played 1 comp since quitting my job and earnt £1200 in one night. Just think how many glances at the clock that is, how many times I’d be checking my watch, waiting for life to pass me by. I’d gained vital experience and had an enjoyable time doing so. I met some new faces in Booderham, 77Dave, and TightEnd, and some old ones in RED-DOG, Junior, Yoyo, and so on. Great fun, great days!

So, any regrets? I don’t think I need to answer that…

Ps. I also had a laugh with Ian ‘The Belly’ Oldershaw. How can a vegetarian get a name like that?! And I thought poker was complex…

Friday, November 25, 2005


It's a simple question really, what is the best starting hand in 4 card Omaha?

This question has been on my mind over the last few days after reading an interesting line from Hellmuth's 'Play Poker Like The Pros' where he suggests that A-A-K-K double suited is the best possible starting hand.

Technically, this is quite possibly true. Your aces are backed up by the next highest pocket pair. 4 cards for a top set and two nut flush draws. Sounds great.

However, this doesn't necessarily make it the most profitable hand.

Firstly, if you hit one of your flushes, what's the chance of you actually being paid off. Well, of course you've always got a chance of being paid by 2 pair, trips, or even a stonecold bluff, but who's gonna call with a queen high flush. You have both aces and both kings, so the next highest flush is 3rd nuts, which is not a hand you want to be pushing too often.

Secondly, from my experience, a lot of fish like to push pocket kings prefop, therefore maximising the chances of your aces being paid off. If you already hold two of those kings however, then the chances of someone playing the other two kings is slim to none.

Some may say that the kings provide the best possible kicker for your pocket aces if you were to run into another couple of rockets, but how much impact does that have? Remember, you can only use two cards from the hole, which will more often than not be the aces. Therefore, the kings make very little difference unless you are fortunate enough to spike a set.

Thirdly, in many games, more than two people see a flop, which makes your aces that much more vulnerable. A called bet on the flop and you could be in trouble. If it was me, I would much prefer my other two hole cards to be soemthing like TJ or 9T, so I had straight possibilites aswell as the flush potential. I'd still have the nut flush draws, but I wouldn't be so dependent on hitting a third king.

Too often, it is assumed that the aces are playing heads up and all the money is in the pot. Of course, if this is the case, then A-A-K-K is a massive hand. However, the reality is that this is often only going to occur against another aces holding, in which the majority of pots will be split. Personally, I'd rather look down at the start of the hand and see A-A-J-T double suited. If I can get all the money in preflop, then great! But if I find myself involved in a mutliway pot, then I have a few alternative, and slightly more deceptive, ways of taking the pot.

I'm sure there's no definite answer, and it may just be a case of perosnal style and taste, but, like T.J. Cloutier, I'd go with the J-T. Still a strong holding, but with the added bonus of having the flushes paid off and the potential for making a cheeky straight.

Monday, November 21, 2005


Today, for the first Monday in a while, I woke up with a smile.

No early alarm call, no sitting in rush hour traffic, no making the coffee, no watching the clock, no death hour, no sitting in silence, no boss looking over my shoulder, no having to eat at a certain time, no being given orders to obey, no photocopying, no faxing, no printing, no scanning, no binding, no replying to boring emails, no looking at spreadsheets, no… well, you get the idea.

I’m not going to start playing online until next Monday. I’m trying to divide my accounts into 3 (live, online, and personal) just so I can keep a better track of any financial activity. I’ve been working pretty hard this year without taking a proper holiday, just the odd day here and there, so I don’t see any reason why I can’t put my feet up for a week.

Of course, there’s always the danger that I lose a few bucks on Monday and then say, ‘I’ll start properly tomorrow.’ But like when smokers are trying to quit or when fatclubbers are dieting, you’re always starting your regime the next day. Definitely Monday for me though, no excuses.

I was at Walsall yesterday and somehow managed to spend 635 squid. Eeeeeeeeek!!! I bought in for Tuesday’s £300er which, although isn’t a double chance freezout, should be a good comp. Then I did £100 on a £25 satellite and £200 on a £100 satellite.

Amazingly, only 27 turned up for the latter, so just the 3 seats were created. I could have sworn with the festival just around the corner that there’d be over 50 playing this. Stupidly, this put me in bad spirits as I’m not too hot at satellites where there are barely any seats. Also, because I’d been forced to wait around for a couple of hours after exiting the afternoon comp, I was a tad restless and really not in the mood to play. This led to me into the world of…

LaZy PoKeR – argh!!!

Yep, we’ve all been there. Our brain’s just not in gear and our heart’s not in it. You call a couple of hands you shouldn’t, you don’t pay attention, don’t examine the other players when you’re not involved, you know, generally just fail to focus on the mission ahead.

I eventually went out when I missed a straight and flush draw. I knew the other fella had top pair when he bet out, but I needed a double up from somewhere and with the dead money from the limpers, I was probably just about getting the pot odds to move in.

RED-DOG was also present, feet up on a neighbouring chair whilst he nursed an injured ankle. Old age mi thinks. Anyhow, he eventually exited 9th, after losing another race. He can’t seem to win one at the moment. If I spot a chance of a coin flip with RED on Tuesday, I’d be wise to take it.

A quick anecdote for you. Whilst I was playing the £25 satellite earlier on in the day, one guy came up to me and said, ‘Do you want to hear a good tip for these satellites?’ Eager to hear his pearls of wisdom and learn more about the game, I nodded and leant forward, all ears.

His top tip for the day? And wait for it, it’s a belter…

To put it nicely, he said that before the satellites he… and I still cringe now, ‘interferes with himself.’

Fanbloddytastic. Cheers for conjuring up that picture in my hend. Just lovely. For a moment there, I really thought that this fella, who’d obviously been around the game for many a year, was going to give me some really tip top advice. Bah.

He ended up on my table. I decided that I didn’t want to win his chips. Not without gloves anyway.

A couple of other, more serious issues that were on my mind last night.

(i) smoking

My clothes smelt smokier than ever this morning. How can that be when it’s a non-smoking cardroom? Well, when you’re sitting near ‘smoker’s row’, you might as well be sucking an exhaust pipe.

What’s the point of making the cardroom non-smoking if they all gather round that one area and blow smoke back into the cardroom? If you sit on that one side, then you’re probably inhaling more than if it was a smoking cardroom.

They should either push them back closer to the roulette etc or give them a designated room where they can go to light up.

Just my 2 cents.

(ii) the already qualified

There may be mixed views on this one, but, IMHO, if someone has already qualified, then they shouldn’t be allowed to play any more satellites. If they’ve bought in and then fancy trying to win their seat instead, then I can understand, but if they’re playing just to cash in once they win another seat, then I’m not a happy snoppy.

Personally, I want as many weak players in the field as possible. There were a few admittedly good players participating last night who had already won a seat. To me, this just isn’t fair on everyone else and makes it harder to qualify.

Satellites are comps for seats, not cash, and cash should only be offered under extreme circumstances where the player just can’t make the main tournament.

Okay. Rant over.

It’s Monday, my pockets are lighter, but I’m still a happy bunny.

L8ers all.


ps. I drank a Red Bull last night and it made me feel tired and lethargic. Where are my bloomin wings!!!

Friday, November 18, 2005


After giving Junior's blog the once over, I noticed that he has included his Blondepoker profile. Seems like a good idea, so I'm unashamedly going to copy the fella.

It seems as though I have dived head first into my blog without introducing myself. Hopefully, this profile will be a good starting point.

So here it is...

What is your BlondePoker username?

snoopy1239 - although I'm starting to believe it might be snoppy idiot

Which area do you live in?

the rough backstreets of er... Solihull Roll Eyes

What is your marital status?

young, free, single, and easy...

come and get me ladies Cool

Do you have any children and/or pets?

Nope. Would love another dog though. My dear buddy, Tara, died a year or two ago and I miss her.

When did you start playing poker?

About 4 years ago in Boston (online poker site). A few months after, I joined jammer in the Gala. Then I was hooked and never looked back.

Where can you be found playing live?

Mainly Grosvenor, Walsall, but I always love trecking back up to Notts for the lively amosphere.

What is your favourite online site?

Ladbrokes for the multis, customer service, and friendly players. I move around for ring games.

What is your handle there?

snoopylq & snoopy1239 (and no Junior, lq doesn't stand for 'little queer'. Angry)

What is the harshest beat you have inflicted on an opponent?

To be honest, perhaps because of my style, they tend to happen to me predominantly. I do remember one on my debut at Walsall though. It was a £20 rebuy comp and there were 3 tables left. I tried to nick the blinds by moving my short stack all in with rags (8-4). Foolishly, the small blind decided to call with 8-8. I missed the flop completely, but joy of joys, turn 4, river 4. I went on to take a cool grand. Better than a kick in the goolies. crazy

Who are your poker heroes?

Although I'm a big Doyle fan, I tend to go with folk I know. Take a look at players like RED-DOG, tikay, yoyo, etc. They play with respect, decency, and honour. They're the real poker heroes.

Who is your best friend in poker?

Jammer. Not only is he my brother, but he is a mighty fine poker player to boot.

What are your greatest accomplishments in poker?

er... er... pass.

Apart from the odd financial poker boom, I'd say that simply profiting from the game was my biggest accomplishment. If you can earn money from something you love, then that's a hell of an achievement.

What is your most embarrassing moment in poker?

Being knocked out by tikay at the Luton festival has to be up there. Roll Eyes Tongue

but, any time your button steal is caught and you are forced to turn it over, you can be left a little red faced.

Last Sunday at the notts £30 freezout, I went all-in from the button with 7-2 off suit. The small blind called with his eights and I was tempted just to muck rather than be forced to show. Obviously I showed saying, 'I think you might be pipping me' and everyone had a good giggle at my expense.

Being conned into slagging off Londonpokergirl on the forum was a tad embarrassing too.

Which Blondepoker thread did you enjoy the most?


Tom's sour face as his tache turns a bright sparkling blonde is a sight to treasure. Cheesy

The thing I love most about BlondePoker is?

The community spirit. I've never come across anything like it. So many people who have never met each other, but you know something, they would probably vouch for one another as if they'd know each other for years.

I've never met robert hm, but I consider him to be one of my best buddies.

My biggest pet hate in poker is?

When players show a lack of etiquette, dignity and humility at the table.

What are your main interests outside poker?

er... now I'm definitely stumped. Cry

Must be a trick question...

Tell us something about yourself none of us would know

ooh eck

I used to be a chipendale.

Okay, game's up, that was a fib.

Ummmmmm. I was once part of the best laser quest team in the West Midands. Gulp. That one could come back to haunt me.

What is your favourite pie filling?

Pies? I leave that sort of thing to Kev. Cool

Who is your favourite singer?

Bob Dylan. Greatest lyricist ever.

What is your favourite song?

ACDC - Back in Black

Who is your ideal man or woman?

Anyone that will have me. Cry Cry Cry

What is your favourite holiday destination?

Vegas, baby! Vegas!... when I eventually go.

If I could change one thing about myself I would?

Give myself more confidence

Thursday, November 17, 2005


It’s the eve of my pending unemployment, and I’m in reflective mood after rereading jellybean’s post. When I read the title, I gulped nervously, half expecting a post of hatred from an enemy I had perhaps unknowingly made. I braced myself for some abuse, perhaps even mockery regarding my recent decision. To my relief however, these were ‘home truths’ about poker as a career, rather than a stab at me personally.

I ploughed through his post with one eyebrow raised. Some of the comments he made would make anyone think twice about playing.

‘it means I don't dwell on my losses for too long as I'm asleep’

‘it’s no fun’

‘plays havoc with your social life’

Blimey, jellybean! Morose to say the least, and I’m sincerely sorry that you’ve had an unhappy time playing full-time. However, it’s important to examine these angles, and so, in hindsight, I’m glad you posted.

My response is this:

The last thing I want to do is to relinquish my enjoyment of the game. This is perhaps one of the biggest fears I have about going full-time. I’ve lived and breathed this wonderful game for 4 years now, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. Whether I’ve been suffering bad-beats or celebrating big wins, I’ve continually received that thrill that we all pine for. During that time, my interest for the game has seldom threatened to fade and, if anything, has culminated from an interest into a passion.

So, therefore, I will do everything I can to maintain this. If I ever reach a stage where I wake up downhearted, bracing myself for up to 18 hours of monotonous poker, then I just won’t continue. Simple as that. I’ll drop it all and look for some other way to earn an income. The only reason why I decided to quit my job was because I was bored and wasn’t enjoying it. If those feelings were to transfer over to my poker life, then I’d make a change.

That’s easier said than done though. So what should I be doing to combat this possibility of monotony? Well, it all depends on the individual, but, from liaising (yes, I can speak posh sometimes) with various others, I have come up with the following guidelines:

Take Plenty of Breaks

For me personally, this is a must. Whilst I intend to work on my mental stamina, it isn’t currently at the level I want it to be. Therefore, I shall be taking multiple breaks and focussing on shorter sessions in order to keep my mind fresh and alert. My losses seem to be dependent on silly mistakes resulting from a lack of focus, rather than a skill inferiority. In both tournaments and ring games, I find that these rare, but vital, mistakes are the difference between profit and loss. Therefore, if I can minimise these errors by keeping my mind on the ball, then I should increase my chances of success.

This also extends to the long-term. If I feel myself slipping into a hypnotised robotic state of poker playing, then I’ll perhaps take a day or two off. Hopefully, this will not only revitalise my poker brain, but also my enthusiasm for the game.

The hardest part I find is being able to detect when these situations arise. However, I feel as though I’m becoming more aware of when a break is required and being able to act by temporarily pulling the plug.

Get Some Fresh Air!

Your average online poker pro seems to have a fear for the outside world. A life living as a hermit within the surroundings of just one room. Now that’s scary!

Scarey, but sometimes true. This is something I’m just not prepared to accept. Being a cool, hip dashingly handsome youngster, it would just be a crime to the ladies out there if I locked myself in my room 24/7 and just played non-stop poker. To me, playing poker full-time doesn’t mean spending all day and night in front of the computer. It means playing little more than several hours during the day to earn a crust, and then getting yourself out and about whilst you’re poker free.

If you were playing up to 18 hours a day, then I’m not surprised you weren’t enjoying it. And if that’s how long you believed you needed to spend playing to earn enough, then I would have suggested that you looked for another way of making a living. I’m not in a position to preach, but that’s just the way I look at it.

So, in essence, what I’m saying is that I will be doing what I can to make sure that I have a life outside poker. Although playing a mixture of live and online poker goes someway to keep things fresh, it’s still important to have more than 1 hobby.

I will hit the road, visit my buddies, write, read, etc, etc. Anything that can keep my mind off poker whilst I’m not playing. I’m passionate about the game, but I can’t afford to become obsessed. Doing so puts my enjoyment of the game in jeopardy.

Even if a multi forces you into a longer than normal session, then why not move the laptop around. Play in the lounge, study, kitchen, even the garden if it’s sunny. RED-DOG told me that he always tries to move around, just to keep himself alert, whilst also preventing cramp. He’s getting old you see.

Mix It Up

There’s more than 1 type of game, there’s more than 1 site, there’s more than 1 level. You don’t just have to play the same game over and over and over again. I consider myself to be relatively apt at Hold-Em, Omaha, & Omaha High Low, be it pot-limit, no-limit, or sometimes even limit. My most profitable game is still NL Texas, but that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t ambush the other tables. My profit might not be as good playing PL Omaha High Low, but at least it’ll keep my brain active and prevent me from becoming bored by the one game.

Similarly, I make most of my money from cash games, but I can still earn a little from STTs. Maybe I can even work on my game so that my STT skills reach the same level. That’d be a challenge and would make a change from the daily cash game routine.

Poker can be a broad game. There are so many options. You don’t just have to play $2/4 NL Hold ‘Em, day in day out, facing the same players over and over again. This will undoubtedly lead to monotony and boredom. Therefore, I’ll be mixing it up and trying to maintain a healthy balance between making money and enjoying the game.

Set Yourself Goals

I thank The_Baron for this one, I think it’s an important point.

It’s a bit geeky, but I’m going to write down a list of potential, but realistic, achievements that I hope to hold by next June. These can range from winning a live comp, earning a certain online amount, going to Vegas, and so on. I’ll then add the odd non-poker goal, just so my life doesn’t become completely centred around poker.

Hopefully, this will keep me focused, whilst also ensuring that I don’t become stuck in a rut. That is one of the things that happened at work. I ended up getting up each day and trundling off to work, unsure as to why I was going and what exactly I wanted to achieve. I thought about what I’d be doing in a year’s, and it scared the crap out of me when I pictured myself sitting at the same desk, doing the same things.

It’s important to have aims, whatever they may be. It keeps the heart pumping and the blood circulating. Gives you a bit more drive in life. If I reach a goal, I will create a new one. A ladder structure of sorts in which each rung becomes a new level that I wish to aspire to.

So, there you have it…

Hopefully, if I can adopt these guidelines into my daily poker life, then I stand a better chance of maintaining the balance between enjoyment and profit. Of course, there will be times when it all feels a little stagnant, but the key is in being able to identify these points and doing something about it.

Let’s not forget the advantages of playing poker fulltime. Get up when you want, play when you want, eat and sleep when you want, no boss, nobody watching over you. These are luxuries that I dreamt of whilst sitting at my desk at work. Now I have a chance to live them. It may go wrong and I could find myself back at the 9-5 job, but at least I won’t have any regrets. Least I’ll be able to say I gave it a shot…

I appreciate the post, jellybean, it should be very insightful to those expecting full-time poker to be an easy ride. I can promise you that I am not one of those players and I don’t intend to be naïve about my decision. Your words have encouraged me to retrace these steps and clarify them in my head.

Thanks for your good luck message and I’m glad to hear that your results have improved.


ps. My next post will be less serious...promise. dad dont dance

Monday, November 14, 2005


I was going to write this last night, but I decided against it. It would have been interesting to catch my mood, but I want to be realistic and reflect on my game in a way that isn’t affected by my emotions. I’ve done it before, you know, suffered a bad beat or something and written my thoughts down straight after the event. Then later, when I look back, it’s all gibberish, complete balls, and I end up saying, ‘I can’t believe I wrote that’ or ‘what was I complaining about?’

Well, it’s the day after yesterday and I’m no longer gutted, just disappointed. Last night I played in a Grosvenor £25 rebuy satellite for the Midlands Masters main event. Only 36 turned up so only 3 seats were produced. There was a whole lot of moaning and whining, people perplexed to why it wasn’t a satellite for the £750. In reflection, £25 does seem a bit cheap, but I guess they don’t really need to make too many seats for the 1500. It’ll probably fill up anyway.

I got off to a flying start. A big pot built and I decided to call a couple of preflop raises with AT suited. Near perfect flop came, a ten with two spades giving me top pair and the nut flush draw. The chips went in, and, although I was ahead anyway, I rivered my spade just to make sure. I raked a big pot and I was off. This also meant that it was unlikely that I’d be dipping into my pocket again, which was a real bonus. If I get chips early on, then you’re gonna need a crowbar to get them off me.

After flopping a full house aces up and catching someone holding the case ace, I reached the break with 7.5k. I was well above average and felt good about my chances, even though only 2 seats were up for grabs. I was kinda hoping that this would encourage the smaller stacks to start gambling and chuck their chips away to the big stacks. This happened, but unfortunately, I wasn’t one of the recipients.

I’m not one to babble on about hands because they tend to be of no interest to anyone but the individual involved. Besides, they normally just turn into bad beat stories. Having said that though, there were a couple of hands that occurred last night which may be worth highlighting.

The first was straight after the rebuy period. I held 43 unsuited in the cut-off and decided to try and see a cheap flop with the intention of nicking if the blinds checked. Sure enough, it was checked round to me and I stuck a bet in, but, for a change, I actually had a hand. Flop was a rainbow 3-4-9 and I’d made bottom 2 pair. My bet was 700 about the size of the pot, and, to my surprise, the small blind suddenly moved all-in for 4.5k. Blimey. Took me ages to make a decision here. If I call and lose, I’m down to 3k. Pots not particularly big, but, still, I have 2 pair! So what does he have and what could he be making this move with?

My first instinct was something like 9-3 or 9-4. Would he bet though, just like me? Well, he was first to go and it was a rainbow flop, so a trapcheck certainly seems feasible. Plus the big reraise suggests he doesn’t really want to give me any cheap cards. He might have hit a set of 3s or 4s, but his reraise seemed too big. I’d expect him to raise 9-9 preflop, so I didn’t put him on that hand. Other possibilities were A9 or 5-6. The former would be a risky move, but perhaps worth a shot if he was expecting me to bet out. The latter however is a definite option if he’s in a gambling mood. He probably puts me on one pair at most so believes his big reraise will undoubtedly force me to fold. And, if it doesn’t, he still has outs to the nuts.

After giving him the once over and going over the hand in my mind, I deduced that his most probable holding was 9-4, so I mucked. Did I waste an ample opportunity to add to my stack, hmm, not sure. He’s not the type of player to tell you his hands, plus I was too embarrassed to start begging, so, my curiosity is yet to be satisfied. Grr…

The second hand came with two tables left. I had grinded my way up to 8.5k. Boy, that is a slow grind! I was in earlyish position with AK of hearts and was just about to raise when I realised that seat 1 had flatcalled. Now, I don’t normally play with such caution, but this guy is a rock who is known to be exceedingly careful with his chips. He rarely gambles and seldom shows a bluff. Also, I’d already seen him flatcall aces from early position. With this in mind, I decided to play my hand a little differently and just flat call.

The flop came A-5-7 with two spades. After the blinds and the limper checked, I decided to ask if the limper had checked, just to see if I could gauge a reaction. He seemed pretty serious when I asked him, which made me think that he had something to be serious about. Anyhow, I decided to stick in a bet anyway. I couldn’t be that sure he had a monster, and there were limpers behind me. I couldn’t risk giving free cards. After all, first position might have nothing.

I bet 1k, every1 folded except first position, who, not to my total surprise, reraised to 3k. Now that looks like a fishing bet. I’m sure he wants to reel me, and 2k is mighty cheap when you’ve just bet 1k. I read him for either AA, 55 or 77, nothing less. He wouldn’t flatcall with A5, A7 or 75, and he wouldn’t make a stonecold bluff on an ace high flop. He could have had AJ though and waiting for a checkraise, but even then, I think he’d just bet out. AK and AQ would have been raised preflop. The only other possibility is the semi bluff with a flush draw, most likely KQ or JT, pretty cards that could entice a flatcall.

I decided to fold another big hand… reluctantly. I just didn’t put him on anything less than the set. I didn’t see the point in just calling. If I was going to play the hand I might as well push all my chips in. Maybe overly cautious in hindsight, but I guess I’ll never know now.

So, two big hands and two big folds. Whether they were the correct ones or not, I have no idea, and it’s gnawing away at me. You wait all night for these sort of hands, and when I eventually find them, I just muck them. Maybe I was being paranoid, but if I put someone on a hand better than mine, then I play as such, regardless of whether people think my hand is too good to fold.

In the end, I finished 5th. 3rd was £600. Didn’t find any hands on the final table and exited on a coin flip. No bad beats, didn’t have to outraw anyone, went out fair and square. But I was left wondering whether or not I’d dropped a couple of clangers by folding those two hands. Did I miss out on a good opportunity to qualify for this event?

Okay, only £25 spent on a £1500 shot, had a really enjoyable night, so why was I gutted? Well, sometimes it’s the small things that get to you. I’m dying to play some of these main events, but I’m struggling to get through the satellites. I’m making the finals, but then just missing out. Didn’t quite make the Grand Prix, bubbled in the blue square qualifier for the Masters, 5 Ladbrokes cruise finals, 2nd in Rob’s satellite, and so on. I’m not moaning or anything, far from it, but it just becomes a bit demoralising when you want to play these events as much as I do. I’m sure all of you have felt like that before. The only concern I have is that if I feel down because of those near misses, how will I cope when I go full-time and the losses become more vital. I guess that’s something I’m going to have to address…

Apologies to those bored by this entry, which is, in effect, just me gibbering on about a piddly £25 satellite. However, I just thought I’d air some of my thoughts anyhow.

If possible, I’d really love to hear your views about those two hands I discussed. Did I play them wrong? I’m pretty sure I played at least one of them incorrectly. What would you have done?

Clocking off, a pensive snoopy.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


Have been reading Ben Grundy's blog today, very informative and I recommend every1 nips over for a butchers.

Caught sight of an intriguing post where he discusses the advantage of rating your performance.

It sounded like a good idea to me, so I've decided to steal it.

Keep it simple, something like:

Doggy doo
Top Dog

Insert an extra column on my spreadsheet and everytime I play, effectively mark myself out of five.

I really think this is a simple yet very effective process, and I wish I'd adopted it earlier.

Hopefully, it well help me keep a grip on the reality of my form. sometimes we can dellude ourselves into thinking that we've been playing well for the week, when in fact our performances have been poor.

One quick look at my speadsheet and I should be able to see how well, or bad, I am playing. If it's all 'Top Dogs', then I shall continue to play as I have been doing. If there is a load of doggy doo around, however, then I guess it's back to the drawing board. Find out where I am going wrong and make the change. Either way, it'll make me aware of how I'm doing. In the short term, winning or losing isn't always an accurate display of your form.

Cheers, Ben. thumbs up


Friday, November 11, 2005


It’s official, I’ve been sacked resigned from my post and will be leaving the company in exactly 1 week. Boy, it comes around quickly. Life is slapping me in the face with a wet kipper and the reality of my decision is kicking in.


Are they bricks of excrement I see below me?

Well, I’m not changing my mind now. I’ve made the choice, I should at least have the testicular fortitude to stick with it and see it through. I could go bust, but I won’t regret my decision, whatever happens. That’s a certainty.

What I can do, however, is ensure that I maximise my chances of success…

Get Into Shape

Some would say that trying to get my body into shape would be like taking a chisel to Michelangelo’s ‘David’. Thanks Mum! But let’s be brutally honest here. I’m 100% OUT of shape. No doubt about it, my body is no longer a temple. It’s more like a grubby shed. As those who have met me will concur, I am not a Greek Adonis, more Mr Burns. So it’s time for a change!

I really do subscribe to the theory of ‘healthy body, healthy mind’. When I play badly, I always end up confessing that it was due to fatigue. You need to be alert in this game, on the ball at every moment. One single mistake can cost you a massive pot or send you crashing out of a tournament. I can’t afford to blink at any stage.

I’m not one for pumping iron. I can’t think of anything more tedious. What I can do though is increase my level of general fitness. So, brisk jogs round the block, sit-ups, press ups, etc should do the trick. I don’t even need to go down the gym. Mr healthy lifestyle stands right here at home, waving furiously and pleading to be invited in.

Then there’s the tucker. I’m no Fatty Arbuckle, so I don’t think overeating is a problem. Anyhow, it’s all about what you eat. I hear pasta, fruit, cereal, potato, among other things provide a good start. I’ve often had a tendency to skip Breckie, but I guess it’s time I changed that trend. Do I really want to start playing on an empty stomach?

Bankroll & Game Selection

I’ve heard and read tonnes of advice on this, but, in essence, I really think it comes down to what type of player you are. If you’re a grinder who plays few hands, but makes a nice steady profit, then surely a massive bankroll is unnecessary. Of course, on the flipside, if you’re an aggressive player who chooses to raise frequently and bully a table into submission, then perhaps the bigger bankroll is required.

I would consider myself a tight aggressive player. If I play a hand, then I try to play it aggressively. I apply caution if I think I may be beat, but push if I believe I’m ahead. No complex moves, no flair, just aggressive ABC poker.

This approach doesn’t seem to deal out too steep a swing. On the occasion when my bankroll has been severely dented, I would be a fool to say that it wasn’t down to the dreaded tilt. Calling preflop raises with suited rags, not letting go of top pair when I know I’m beat, and so on. Nothing incredibly stupid, but the kind of tilt that sees your stack gradually drip down to the felt. From playing more than 1 table at a time, I’d say that in a single session, my swing is never much more than $500 either way.

I’ve been playing the same $1/2 and $2/4 games for a while now, and have never really needed to dip back into my current account. I have slowly, but surely added to my bankroll without truly threatening my initial stake. So, considering this, I believe that I don’t need too much behind me, unless of course I decide to up the anti and move onto a higher level.

Taking into account that I will be playing more frequently, I will start with an online bankroll of $8000. Playing the levels I do, I feel this gives me enough breathing space to play freely in the comfort that I have plenty of refills behind me should need them. If I manage to do my bankroll, I can always dip back into my savings or borrow from my live bankroll. To be frank though, if I begin to struggle from an 8k bankroll, then maybe I shouldn’t be playing fulltime.

I’ve decided to play with a live bankroll of £4000. Due to petrol cost and the huge luck factor involved in the smaller comps, I don’t tend to play live too much anymore. Having said that however, I do see it as imperative to get myself out and about now and then. Playing online all day could really scramble my brain, so any human interaction within the game will probably be a godsend.

My favourite comp is the £300 double chance monthly freezout at Walsall. Obviously with only a £4000 bankroll, I can’t be stumping up the fee every month unless I start cashing on a regular basis. Therefore, I may have to rely on the satellites and then exit gracefully if I fail to qualify. Although, as it is such a good comp offering a high level of experience, I intend to play this one as much as possible.

My other reason for perhaps playing the £300er via the satellites, is to allow me more flexibility for festivals. They’re becoming more and more frequent every year, which, in turn, means that your bankroll needs to increase in size too. I’m a big fan of the festivals. I want to make more main events rather than just ambush the smaller comps. This is where the real experience is and these are the tables I need to sit at in order to fully improve my game.

I’ve bubbled so many times in these qualifiers. Always seem to be the bridesmaid. However, now I have more time to select satellites more carefully, I should be participating more in the bigger comps. I may not win the bug bucks straight away, but it’s what I need to play to advance my game.

Seeing that I can’t keep paying up 100s, I see no reason why I can’t play some of the smaller freezouts. The £30 freezout in Notts is a fantastic event. It’s a serious game in a friendly non-hostile atmosphere. Granted, you get the odd maniac still playing it as a rebuy, but this can only be beneficial.

Rob’s done a really good job with this one. The blinds do get a bit hot to handle with around 11 to 15 players remaining, but, apart from that, the structure works pretty well. With 3000 starting chips, give or take the odd cold-deck, there’s plenty of play. It’s also nice to see a new payout structure in action. When I debuted the other week, I was amazed to see the comp actually played to a finish. A sight for sore eyes.

So, by just focusing on these freezouts and the odd chip throwing contest, I reckon £4000 will keep me going for a while. You never know, I might even win one and add to my bankroll. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet. If I do hit a run of bad cards, then I’ll just be more selective in which games I play and how often I play them.

With regards to live cash games, I shall use my £4000 bankroll. I don’t play them too often because I am big fan of the smaller dealer’s choice tables, which now seems to be a dying game. Lots of money thrown into the middle, lots of gambling, and lots of mistakes being made. Perfect if I can find a table.

I intend to focus only on online cash games and live freezouts. Online multis can be costly and unrewarding for large lengths of time. If I was to give the multis a proper go, then I would pull out a larger bankroll to allow for the potential dry spells. However, as I am already profiting from the ring games, I shall stick to them for the time being and perhaps play more multis in the future when I have reassessed my bankroll


I consider lack of discipline to be the reason why so many fail when taking this venture. I would be lying if I said I hadn’t fallen victim to it myself. I’ll never forget my prepoker days at the Gala, standing before a spinning roulette wheel, pondering whether or not I ought to stick my last 100 squid on red. I recall considering begging to management for my money back to be a viable option. I’m sure at one point they were thinking about unveiling a golden statue of me in the lobby to commemorate my contributions to the casino. The manager suggested that his Ferrari up front was enough to emphasise the point.

Well, I suppose a fool and his money are easily parted. Thing is, I can’t afford to play the fool any more. The steady income has gone and I still need to pay the rent. Therefore, I CANNOT play:

-- when sozzled
-- when tired
-- when angry
-- above my bankroll
-- too much

The last one is of particular importance to me. If I don’t have my head screwed on, I do tend to lose track of time and then suddenly realise I’ve been playing for a couple hours more than I intended. What I’m going to do is set an alarm, for 90 minutes say, and when it blares away, just bring to a halt all the games I’m involved in, be I winning or losing. That way, I should prevent myself from chasing losses or letting big stacks drip away. This process will also remind me to take a break ,therefore keeping me fresh and alert enough to play another session later on.

What I must avoid is robotsyndrome. I was becoming a robot at work, so I certainly don’t want to continue that trend at home. Like Junior suggested, that means doing other stuff as well as poker. Yes, I know, it’s shocking isn’t it? I may have to venture outdoors! Eeeeeeeeek!!!!

Well, there you have it, those are the three topics that have been on my mind over the last week. I’m sure I will expand on these subjects futher, but for now, I think I’ve made a steady start in terms of preparation. I’ve got several days yet, but still, full-time poker is closer than I think. I’m nervous, but excited at the same time. In one week I’m giving poker a crack. I just pray that I get off to a good start.

I hope these words have interested you or perhaps even offered some ideas to those considering taking my route. I don’t see why we can’t use this forum to bounce ideas off each other and enhance our chances of success.

Any comments or snippets of advice are gratefully received. And thanks again for all you good luck wishes. I may need them….

Monday, November 07, 2005


For those of you who haven't already heard, Rob Yong has set up the hottest game in town. 30 to 40 highly honoured guests are invited to the bash of the year. A £1000 home game with top notch hospitality to boot. The invite tends to circulate mainly round the members of Blondepoker.com (Blondites), but now and then a few straglers from the outside world turn up. Michael Grecko being one of them! Don't call him Beppe though...

After learning of the roaring success of Rob’s last home game, I was eagerly anticipating Saturday’s fun and frolics. Mingling with a bunch of Blondites and the odd star was simply too good an opportunity to miss. Just the mere prospect of playing a well structured comp, be it the STT or the main event, got my blood circulating and hungry to play.

Saturday morning soon arrived. I woke up, slapped on the old poker face and spun the trusted Fiesta down the M42. An hour later I met up with Ralph (Karabiner) at his bachelor pad. With a tendency to be slightly dippy, I knew I had to seek aid in finding Rob’s house, and being a good natured kinda guy, Ralph was a worthy option. As someone who struggles to manage two tasks simultaneously, I was assured to get lost and end up back in Brum.

After I displayed some surprisingly successful navigational skills, Ralph and I soon arrived at Rob’s pad. At first, we weren’t sure whether or not we would get in. As Ralph waited in the car, I waved my arms aimlessly before the camera, desperately hoping that someone would catch sight of me or hear my cries for help. Fortunately, our presence was spotted and the gates were opened.

As we parked, I noticed Rob’s front door was ajar. This was indicative of Rob’s approach to the day. He offers a rather generous open door policy which in turn presents an idea of the hospitality you could expect. Unless I am mistaken, I had only previously met Rob on one occasion, but he had no problem welcoming me into his humble abode. In fact, this generosity stretched to several of the guests, and like them, I am extremely grateful.

On arrival, I was greeted by Robert HM. I’ve spoken and conversed with this lovely fella on countless occasions, but, bizarrely, I didn’t even recognize him. It’s weird how you can conjure up an image of someone from their activity on a forum, and when they eventually stand before you, the brain finds it difficult to discard the fabricated image.

Also present was nickw, Malc, RED-DOG and the dear Miss Chilli. All as friendly as they are online, treating you as if they have known you forever. This motley crew were standing in a slick and stylish kitchen. As I had a quick meander through the house, it was clear that this panache ran through all the rooms. The kitchen led to a conservatory which held two deluxe poker tables. One of the tables even had a central plate with the word’s ‘Yongster’s Home Game’ inscribed into the gold. Walking past the tables, I was confronted by a room holding a gym and a pool table. I was tempted to pump some iron, but had second thoughts when I realised how demoralised others might be if I displayed my muscular physique.

In front of the conservatory was a mini cinema, something I will dream of until I reach a 100. Surround sound and a screen that stretched across the length of the wall made me exceedingly jealous.

Yep, there was no doubt about it, Rob’s house was superb, and I hadn’t even ventured upstairs! But I was here for poker, not to daydream about how fantastic his pad was.

Although nick was bladdered for the majority of the day, he was acting as tournament director. When I entered he was examining his recently downloaded tournament programme. This software was used throughout the comp and suffered few, if any, glitches. I was especially impressed when they informed me that it had been obtained for free.

The only problem with the ‘Tournament Director’ software was that it had a tendency to misspell names. I quickly spotted that it had somehow translated my name as spooooony. Either that or someone had tampered with the good name, s-n-o-o-p-y. Anyhow, this trend ran throughout the comp and, as per ususal, I was called every name under the sun. The only time I was correctly named was when Kev accidentally slipped up whilst dealing. He soon rectified his mistake by reassigning me with the popular ‘snoppy’ tag.

After a few more familiar faces had arrived, it was time for the STT to get underway. A ten handed £100 table, winner takes all. I sat between RED-DOG and Chilli. Not a bad seat, but I did have to ask Chilli to stop grabbing my knee under the table. I was here to play poker!

Other participants included Jen, Malc, Sheriff Fatman, Karabiner, Rob’s mate Tony, Kevin O’Connell’s Mrs, and of course Robert HM. A tough table to win outright, but I deduced that I had as good a chance as any. Plus I’d bunged a few of my fellow Blondites to throw me their chips.

I got off to a pretty good start winning some small pots early on, but the big drama came when RED-DOG’s reraise with pocket jacks on a KJx flop was called all-in by Malc’s AK. In accordance with RED’s recent misfortune, turn Q, river T. Ouch and double ouch. RED-DOG was down to the felt, and although he refused to give up the fight, he never quite recovered from the hit.

I happened to get some good cards all afternoon and managed to build my stack up quite quickly. Somehow I was chip leader right up until heads up. A very rare occurrence for me. In fact, not coming 10th was a success story.

Anyhow, a couple of hours and few bad beats later, it was down to me and Ralph, the fella who’d driven me here. Bloomin eck. Not only was Ralph my chauffer for the day, but he was also very hard to play against. He plays a tight solid game, but when it comes to heads up, it’s very difficult to put him on a hand as he becomes a lot more aggressive. On top of that, I seem to have trouble reading him.

Although I started out with a nice chip lead over Mr Karabiner, he soon pulled level early on when his 83 flush draw hit a fifth diamond on the river for a double up. This started one of the longest and most hard fought heads up battle I’ve ever contested. I just couldn’t get rid of the little blighter. Whenever one of us had their opponent all-in, the other would somehow survive and double up, and this kept happening. People kept turning round and asking, ‘Have you not finished yet?’

The next time I had him all-in was on a jack high flop. I had reraised his flop bet with an up and down straight draw, and he'd called with the jack. I hit a ten on the turn, but, low and behold, he had the nerve to take the pot with a backdoor flush on the river. Back to square one and I shook my fist at the poker Gods for getting my hopes up. Those rascals!

Whilst our marathon heads up battle continued, another STT, consisting of recent arrivals Ariston and Kiv, commenced on the other table. They almost finished before me and Ralph!

Anyhow, to cut a long story short, Ralph eventually took the honours when his K7 held up against my K3. I probably shouldn't have made the preflop reraise. He was clearly eager to finish it and wasn't interested in folding. I should have waited for a better opportunity.

Ah well, nevermind. Ralph was the satellite champ and he went on to play the £1000 event. I was disappointed to have come so close, but the 20% cut that we had agreed went some way to soften the blow. I didn’t want to put any pressure on Ralph, but I thought telling him that I was struggling to pay the rent wouldn’t do any harm.

Whilst Ariston was sweeping up on the neighbouring STT, the guests started to pile up. Faces I can recall include Geary, actionjack, chubbs, Burnley John, Womble, jezza, dpommo, Dubai, AlrightJack, Beppe, Dave C, Flushy among others.

As the pros moved in, I shot a few racks of pool and played the odd heads up bout with roberthm. My victories in both of these activities should be noted and archived in the ‘Best of Blonde’. Not only did I teach Kev how to play the game of pool, but I also dealt Robert one hell of a beating at HU. Both were sweet victories and I’d like to take this opportunity to remind the two competitors that it’s the taking part that counts. Yeah right!

Unfortunately, as I was involved in such thrilling side action, I didn’t catch too much of what was happening in the main comp. I know that there were 21 participants, Chubbs, Burnley John and Flushy all turning up fashionably late after competing in Sheffield.

Now and then I would pop in to see what was happening, but I only saw the odd hand. I do remember nick taking an early shower though. I believe he received some bad beat and then ran into kings with his AQ for his remaining chips. At this point, however, I believe he was more than slightly sozzled, so hopefully that numbed the pain of his early exit.

Also out early was Bookie Jim. I recall him going through a hand where he had flopped trips and ended up folding it to a raise on the river from Actionjack. Soon after that he was gone. Luckily though, I think he made his money back from all those side bets he took. Are bookies never off duty?! I put 20 squid on Ariston, and although he tried his best, I’d just like to inform him that my kids went to school today without any shoes!

RED-DOG, who looked slight weary after a long day, was playing few hands. As he pointed out himself, he’d only played about three and, not surprisingly, was finding it difficult to get any action. I say that’s respect for the DOG… maybe. Anyhow, it didn’t seem to do him much harm as he made the final table before exiting 8th when his AQ failed to outdraw Chubbs’s pocket 9s.

I noticed jezza was going great guns early doors and had built up a healthy stack. Worth a note. Jezza’s Mrs was very nice and I have already asked him to send her up to brum if he should decide to give her up. His response? ‘She’s on her way?’ Not sure she’s been told yet though.

Apologies for the lack of details, but I found it difficult to see anything when Robert whopped out a fuzzy brown and yellow jumper that his ex mother-in-law had bought him. Although he was seemingly unaware of how amusing his attire was to us, he took our jibes in good spirit. Boy, someone please say they have a picture of the jumper. It really was a sight for sore eyes. Well, it made mine sore anyhow. Sorry Robert.

My 20% cut was making steady progress. Ralph’s stack didn’t seem to move too much, but he was still in and not under any big threat. An under the weather Ralph ended up 9th when his AK ran into Kings. Great effort, just unlucky to find he was up against a monster.

When Ralph exited, it was time for us to leave. Id’ just been dealt a bad beat by Kevin O'Connell in a £50 STT, so I was happy to count my losses and call it a day. I’d had a smashing time at Rob’s and I feel I must offer my sincere gratitude for the hospitality he gave me. Free drinks brought over by a waitress and free barbeque food cooked by Rob’s father who kindly stood in the rain to serve us all. Top stuff and I hope I am invited to the next one.

Ps. Kev had drunk a bottle of JD, tried it on with Chilli about 20 times, and stumbled around Rob’s with a funny grin on his face. However, I’d like to clarify that my victory in pool still counts and that there shall be no rematch.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


I’ve been playing poker for around 4 years now. During that time I’ve lived and breathed the game, almost to an obsessive extent. I’ve had highs and lows, some very high and some very low. Whilst riding the poker rollercoaster, I’ve been privileged enough to meet some of the nicest folk you could ever hope to encounter. All shapes and sizes from a wide range of backgrounds. Whatever I’ve experienced from playing this incredible game, I’ve enjoyed it.

So… why am I spending my time sat in an office staring at a monitor?

That’s the question I’ve been asking myself over the last 2 or 3 months, and, so far, I’ve yet to come up with an acceptable answer.

We have an hour at work, aptly named ‘Death Hour’. This hour of torture occurs between 3 and 4pm. It’s during this time that I am at my lowest. Bored out of my mind and wishing I was at the table. I keep glancing at the clock, praying that it suddenly jolts forward an hour, but alas, it just seems to go slower. At one point, I’m sure it went backwards. Is this how someone my age should lead their days, willing away their time in the world? When I’m older and my time is up, I’m sure I will look back on those days in dismay, wondering how I could have allowed myself to reach such a predicament.

So, as I have no responsibilities, I guess it’s time to quit the job and do something else.

What could I do?

Well… I could always give poker a crack.

I’ve been thinking about going down the poker route for a while now, but never had the guts to give it a proper go. At the moment, I work all day and poker all night. At the weekend I might play live, but I won’t get back to the early hours, which in effect turns my sleeping pattern upside down. As a result, I end up spending Monday at work totally exhausted. Death hour then takes 3 hours rather than the standard 2. I’m bloomin knackered, which makes focusing on my game that more difficult.

In a nutshell, I don’t want to spend all my time working, and when I do get home, resting so I am fresh for the next day of tedium. Sometimes you just have to face the truth. It’s just not me.

So it’s decided. In a few weeks time I’m gonna jack the job in and play poker full time. I’m still young, no wife, no kids and no debts. If there was ever a perfect time to give it a shot, now is it. I could do my whole bankroll, end up back at square one, dreading the approach of the day’s death hour. If it goes belly up, then so be it. At least I would have tried, rather than sitting in the office wondering, ‘what if?’

Recently I’ve learnt that putting your thoughts onto paper can be an extremely constructive process. Whether it’s logging your progress, discussing hands, or just airing a few ideas, I feel you stop yourself from becoming detached. Your grip on reality needs to remain firm, and my discussing of this keeps me in touch.

Every so often I will write an update on this thread, just a few paragraphs outlining my progress. I’m approaching it as an experiment. A ‘will snoopy succeed or fail?’ type of experiment. Hopefully it will be the former, but it’ll be fun finding out.

I sincerely hope that some Blondites out there find my updates interesting. I was going to just write my own private diary on a blogspot, but I thought this would be more fun. And considering the great community we have here, my belief is that I could bounce ideas off others. A few may even be thinking of heading down the same road. If that’s the case, then they’ll probably be able to learn from some of my mistakes. Either way, I really want this thread to serve a purpose.

Finally, I shall be spending the next few weeks calculating my bankroll, studying the different sites, just generally getting myself organized. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail, and if this is going to be my rent money for the upcoming months, then I want to give myself the best opportunity possible to succeed.

So, back to the aforementioned question, ‘Will snoopy succeed or fail?’

Only time will tell, but hopefully the poker gods will be smiling down upon me. . .

Thursday, November 03, 2005


Well, here we go then.

I've never written a diary before, so this is all brand new to me.

However, my bat senses tell me that this will be a productive process.

Perhaps this will be the first of a number of posts leading up to a wsop main event win.

Only time will tell...